For a long period in my earlier school years I came home at lunchtime-it was only a five minute jog. Certainly I can recall Iain coming home with me too, but I've fewer memories whether we ever came home by the time Anne had gone to Hunters Tryst.
Going home at lunch time broke up the day and meant one was less likely to get into any bother. A distinct memory was of watching the One O’clock Show-an entertainment show.
|(Photo from The Museum of Edinburgh)|
As described in yesterday's blog my mother had prepared lunch-we enjoyed a small bowl of a meat and veg which varied depending on the day of the week. It might be tripe, onions and potatoes; mince and potatoes; stew (or Irish stew) and potatoes; or stovies. We each had our own Buchan’s Pottery bowl which had been decorated by our nana (Grandma Jo) who worked as a designer at the old factory in Portobello.
We ate the meal standing up in the kitchen off the small work surface. We never had a pudding. On one memorable occasion we had to have our lunch from Molly Swanson next door and absolutely loved a chocolate custard that she served up with sliced bananas-it was such a novelty, chocolate custard, who would have thought it (I guess all it was, was custard with some Rowntrees Cocoa added in) but the memory of that little twist has remained clearly with me.
There were some long periods of us having school lunches-either paid for when ‘the old boy’ was working or the infamous blue ticket which was handed out to those pupils who came from poorer families. Blue tickets were a badge of shame-something which took the Education Authorities years to do away with.
School lunches were of a mixed quality. The likes of mince and potatoes might be passable, whilst macaroni would make one feel sick. Puddings were most certainly preferable to soups-often it was a seasonal thing. Jam filled slabs of pastry or even an apple slice served with custard were very popular. As I got older and realised that I didn’t have to spend my lunch money on school lunches gave me the freedom to visit the shops at Oxgangs Broadway where I’d buy three Paris buns and a bottle of Kool-a Pop for the grand total of one shilling and sixpence-when I’d consumed the last drop I returned the empty bottle for three old pence which was spent on sports mixtures or fruit salad chews.